Matugga debuts rum cask programmeBy Nicola Carruthers
Scotland’s Matugga Distillers has launched a private cask programme, described as a “milestone moment for Scottish rum”.
Inspired by the success of Scotch whisky, the Livingston-based distillery is offering the public the opportunity to enter the emerging market of rum cask ownership.
A limited number of casks are available for an initial investment of £3,300 (US$3,958) each.
The result will be 350 bottles of three-year-old rum per ex-Bourbon cask.
Each rum was produced using a 2,000-litre copper pot still by head distiller Paul Rutasikwa, who set up the distillery with his wife, Jacine, in 2012.
“This is an opportunity like no other to join us on a very special journey,” he said. “Scotland has a little known and very deep rum heritage linked to the Age of Imperialism.
“Now, in 2023, we’re part of Scotland’s exciting new wave of rum distillers and there’s a real opportunity for us to create history and take Scottish rum worldwide.”
Whisky writer Charles MacLean believes the cask programme will “put Scottish rum on the map” and will benefit from its connection to the “global prestige of Scotch whisky”.
Paul noted that the distillery has proved that rum “ages brilliantly in cooler climates”.
He added: “Although it takes a bit longer, the end result is as delicious, mature and rounded as anything from the tropics.”
In early 2022, Matugga secured £300,000 (US$359,913) through a crowdfunding campaign, enabling an eightfold increase in production capacity and an expansion of the distillery team.
The distillery’s rum brands, Matugga and Liv, are distributed across the UK and in Europe through distributor Dugas. There are also plans to expand into North America, Asia and Africa.
Matugga Distillers is also working with Whyte & Mackay’s master whisky maker and blender, Gregg Glass.
Paul added: “We’ve been really pleased by how collaborative the industry has been, and we’re excited about the potential for developing new ideas and unique combinations of flavours for both rum and whisky.
“We’re working on some exciting projects with Gregg and others – we share the same passion and we all want to ensure that Scotland’s drinks industry continues to lead the way.”
In 2021, Scotch whisky accounted for 75% of Scottish food and drink exports, according to the Scotch Whisky Association.
Meanwhile, the global rum market is projected to grow by 10.45% (2022-2025), resulting in a market volume of US$19.39 billion in 2025.